western philosophy

New Classes for the 2012-2013 School Year

Sophomore Mackenzie Kelly has already started studying for her Western Philosophy class next year.

Every year when students return to the academy, Pace typically has something new to offer. Next year, Pace will add three new classes: Love in Philosophy and Literature taught by Dr. Brubaker, Western Philosophy taught by Dr. Link, and Sustainability taught by Mr. Sargent. Love in Philosophy and Literature is a one semester class that Dr. Brubaker has been wanting to teach for a long time. He explained, “When you’re at school you are preparing for your career in the future. What you don’t really prepare for is your home life.” The class is designed to examine the role of desire, love, and marriage in today’s world. It will explore common philosophical questions like, “What is the proper relationship between love and marriage? Is love a madness or divination? Should love and desire be tamed or set free?” The class will use classical literature and philosophy, from Euripides’s plays to Huxley’s “Brave New World,” to study family, love, and desire and how it has morphed over time to the conception we have of it today. Dr. Brubaker added, “The course is intended to give perspective on our rather unusual times as well as to dispell some common myths about the past.” It is open to juniors and seniors.

Western Philosophy is a class that Dr. Link has taught before. “It is a passion of mine,” said Dr. Link “Though it sounds odd, I am excited by the pleasant task of helping students to think clearly and critically.” The class will study key concepts, philosophers, and trends in western philosophy from the pre-Socratics to existentialism. Dr. Link explains, “The class is for all who are willing to draw outside the lines, think outside the box, dance to different drummers, or strive to be either Lisa Simpson or Stewie; others are just as welcome, though we will discuss controversial topics.” His goal is to have  informed discussion, insightful comments, and honest questions. “Since this is philosophy — not theology, propaganda, or doctrinaire ideology — your dogmas and unassailable values will be respected, never graded or dismissed out of hand.” Similar to ethics, this new class will only be one semester, but will count as a history course for juniors and seniors.

The final new class is Sustainability, which Scott Sargent talked to the Upper School about in an assembly. The class will study different methods of sustainable building techniques and then work to construct a small sustainable house. Students will submit it to a competition, competing with sophisticated programs like one at Georgia Tech. This class is a one semester elective that is offered to all grades and falls under the science department.

By Taylor Esler, Managing Editor ’12

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